sutton-whole-thesis.pdf (9.86 MB)
Tourism in national parks: Managing a paradoxical mandate
thesisposted on 2023-05-26, 01:04 authored by Sutton, R
This thesis deals with reconciling environmental protection and tourism in national parks. It asks, \What tourism is appropriate in national parks?\" The objective is to develop an assessment framework to answer this question. There is widespread contemporary discussion about the perceived economic benefits of tourism. Some argue that national parks should provide economic returns and job opportunities to the community. Consequently tourism particularly ecotourism is seen as a promising economic use of national parks. At the same time many people believe that national parks are important for environmental protection and preservation. The history of national parks the assumptions and values held about them and the legislation establishing them are examined to determine the roles and values of national parks today. The phenomenon of tourism is examined along with management responses to dealing with it in national parks. A confusion of purpose and the lack of a clear tourism assessment process are identified. The need for a framework to assess appropriate tourism in national parks is established and a new legislative policy and implementation framework is proposed. The framework sets out a clearly defined process identifying the key components necessary for its application. It requires an explicit legislative definition of national parks a statement of purpose in the formal gazettal of each park the setting of goals for the future character of each park the setting of goals and objectives for tourism in national parks and development of strategies for achieving the tourism goals and objectives. The key strategy is the development of criteria for assessing tourism proposals for national parks. To elaborate and test the framework the substance of some of the key components of it is proposed. The framework is further tested in a case study by applying it to Maria Island National Park. The case study proposes a statement of purpose and future character goals for the park. Tourism values and tourism opportunities for the park are identified. Limitations of the proposed framework are discussed and suggestions for further development are made."
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